Kenya’s Shilling Extends Drop Despite Central-Bank Intervention
Kenya’s shilling extended losses Tuesday after falling to a record against the dollar, defying central-bank measures to stabilize the currency.
The shilling hit a record low of 113.08 per dollar on Monday before paring the decline. It traded less than 0.1% lower at 112.75 by 12:02 p.m. Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. It has declined for six straight months through November, and is on track to extend that streak this month.
The currency of East Africa’s largest economy is more than 20% overvalued and likely to extend losses next year, according to Renaissance Capital, which sees fair value at 144 per dollar and projects the unit to drop to 119 next year. Still, further depreciation will probably be “contained,” easing inflationary pressures, the investment bank said in a report.
The shilling depreciated even as the Central Bank of Kenya sold notes to mop up excess liquidity. It offered 10 billion shillings ($88.7 million) of seven-day term auction deposits on Tuesday and 30 billion shillings of eight-day TADs, as they are known, on Monday. That compares with offers of 5 billion shillings on most days last week.
“We intervene just to minimize volatility,” Governor Patrick Njoroge said on Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, the central bank’s foreign-exchange reserves fell to $8.74 billion on Dec. 2, dropping for the third straight month to the lowest level since June.
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